Øystein Baadsvik is the only tuba player to have carved out a career exclusively as a soloist, rather than becoming a member of an orchestra or accepting a teaching post. His multi-faceted musical career as a soloist, chamber musician and recording artist has taken him all over the world. The unique virtuosity and musicality Mr. Baadsvik brings to the tuba has established him as the exemplar of the instrument.
He studied under the celebrated tuba player Harvey Phillips, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Music, Indiana University and with the legendary Arnold Jacobs, who had a forty-year career and position of Principal Tuba with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Øystein Baadsvik’s international career began in 1991 when he was awarded two prizes at the prestigious Concours International d’Exécution Musicale in Geneva. At this point he had developed an amazing virtuoso technique and was very well equipped musically, to step out on the world stage.
His international engagements include performances with Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic, L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Musica Vitae (Swedish Chamber Orchestra), the Taipei National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan, Orchestra Victoria of Melbourne,Warsaw Philharmonic, Wratislavia Chamber Orchestra, Gdansk Philharmonic,Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Sweden’s Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, the Singapore Symphony. He appears regularly at the Melbourne International Festivalof Brass. The Festival’s Honorary Patron, the world-renowned horn player Barry Tuckwell said: “Øystein Baadsvik, a great musician and a great performer, is the most remarkable tuba player I have ever heard.”
Øystein Baadsvik is well known for his master classes and tuba clinics which are frequently held in numerous leading universities throughout the United States. including The Juilliard School, Indiana University, Cleveland Institute of Music, Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and the University of Wisconsin . He works constantly to expand the musical aspects of the tuba, performing solo repertoire for tuba and orchestra, and collaborating with jazz and rock musicians. In all these genres, his guiding principle has been to communicate directly with his audience. His development of new tuba-playing techniques have been used in a number of more recent works for the instrument. In recognition, the Norwegian state, in 1999, awarded Mr. Baadsvik a two-year scholarship to continue this work. In praise of his performance in Warsaw, the critic for the newspaper Ruch Muzyczny, said, “After listening to the concert with Baadsvik as soloist in the Tuba Concerto of Ralph Vaughan Williams with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Christopher Seaman, the reviewer wishes that pianists and violinists should study the tuba for at least one year during his education to learn where to find models for phrasing and rubato tempo.”
Øystein Baadsvik has premiered some 40 solo works by composers from the USA, Russia, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland. He has added to the tuba literature with his own compositions and conducts many of his own orchestral concerts.
Mr. Baadsvik is an active recording artist whose CDs receive unstinting praise. His first CD on the BIS label, “Tuba Carnival”, was released in over 40 countries and became an instant hit. It is offered through the Musical Heritage Society, a premiere source of classical music recordings and is rapidly becoming a popular classic with public radio broadcasts on BBC, NPR, ABC radio in Australia, SR in Sweden and NRK in Norway as well as other radio stations in New Zealand, Poland and Germany. It was recommended by the music magazine ClassicToday as one of the six best recordings in the world for solo instrument and orchestra in 2003.The magazine said, “State of the art recorded sound caps an extremely well planned, perfectly executed recital in which humor, charm and virtuosity combine to make the best possible case for the tuba as star of the show.” In “Danzas” for tuba and piano, a collaboration with Niklas Sivelöv, Mr. Baadsvik chose works with the common theme of the dance and include compositions by Piazzolla. Hindemith and Gordon Jacob.
His 2006 Carnegie Hall recital debut featured the works recorded on Danzas, which is also on the BIS label. Another important recent release from BIS, is the recording of the music of Kalevi Ano, ( b. 1949), one of the leading Finnish composers of his generation. Mr. Baadsvik performs his Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jan Sandström. Germany’s Klassik.com said, “borders are redefined. Five out of five stars for interpretation and sound quality.”
In December 2007, Baadsvik released a new CD on BIS as soloist with the Swedish Wind Orchestra and conductor Christian Lindberg. It includes the tuba concerti of Fredrik Högberg, Boris Diew, Daniel Nelson and Baadsvik’s composition, Fnugg Blue.